Adam Rubin writes that the Mets have not yet received their shipment of the new protective caps designed to protect pitchers on the mound.
Rubin shares that while pitchers on Tuesday expressed a willingness to try them during a spring-training bullpen session once the caps arrives, no one indicated that they would actually wear it during the season.
“Let’s be honest, I go by odds,” Jonathon Niese tells Rubin. “The odds of getting hit in the head are pretty slim.”
“I’ll try it here,” Niese added. “I want to see it. Of course I’ll try it.”
When Dillon Gee was asked how many pitchers were nailed by line drives last season, he answered with a question, “Two?”
He is correct, with J.A. Happ being struck on the left ear and suffering a skull fracture, Alex Cobb who suffered a concussion and also in 2012, A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy, needed brain surgery after being struck by a line drive to the head.
Rubin shares a few other Mets pitchers responses to the idea of wearing protective caps while pitching,
“I wouldn’t exclude the possibility, but it would have to be comfortable,” – Bobby Parnell.
“I’ll see what it looks like, or see what it feels like, but I’m not planning on wearing it.” – Scott Rice.
“Maybe in a bullpen. Probably not, though.” – Zack Wheeler
It was reported by Paul Hagen of MLB.com back on January 28th that Major League Baseball had approved padded caps for pitchers. It would also be optional for any pitcher that wanted to give it a try.
The new caps will be manufactured by isoBLOX.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw told MLB Network that he felt it could work, ”I’ve actually tried one of those on. I’ve thrown with it. You don’t look very cool. I’ll be honest. You don’t look very cool out there. But technology is unbelievable and it really doesn’t feel that much different once you get used to it. Obviously it would be a change. We wouldn’t look the same as everybody else, but if you’re that one guy who gets hit what seems like every year, there’s that chance out there. I’m definitely not opposed to it. I think it’d take a lot of getting used to. I think it’s a great thing and a step in the right direction, for sure.”
Will be interesting to see how many pitchers actually try out the caps and decide they like it. The first guy that wears it in a game, may start a trend. But as a fan watching these guys pitch, I’m hoping that getting hit in the head by a line drive is a thing of the past.